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Classic Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe

In this post I’ll be sharing my favorite Classic Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe.

A shrimp cocktail is a popular appetizer. We love it! I make it often and sometimes we enjoy shrimp with this old school seafood sauce for an easy lunch.

We prefer our cocktail sauce on the spicy side so that it is nice and tangy with the delicate sweetness of the shrimp. Each bite tickles your taste buds. 

The recipe for making your own homemade cocktail sauce is simple. It is as quick and easy as adding all of your ingredients to a mixing bowl and giving it a stir.

If you enjoy seafood meals and this tangy red sauce then you might also enjoy my homemade tartar sauce recipe (it is very popular) or a Cajun style red remoulade sauce.

Quick and Easy Seafood Sauce

Classic Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe - served on a bed of crushed ice and lemon slices - easy appetizer

Check out those beautiful jumbo cooked shrimp that I’ve arranged on a bed of crushed ice along with a few lemon slices and that wonderful homemade cocktail sauce.

Don’t you love the vintage serving tray too? That tray was meant to be for me and I’ll tell you why and just a bit!

What is Cocktail Sauce Made Of

Cocktail sauce for shrimp and seafood

Here’s What You Need (don’t worry, all of the details will be further down in the printable recipe card)

  • Chili Sauce
  • Sea Salt
  • Worcestershire
  • Lemon Juice
  • Prepared Horseradish Sauce (I like the extra hot)
  • Cooked Shrimp for Serving

Spicy Cocktail Sauce

Shrimp cocktail sauce ingredients - Classic Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe

Add all of your ingredients for the classic shrimp cocktail sauce recipe to a small mixing bowl and combine.

As I mentioned, we love our sauce on the spicy side. If you don’t prefer it that way then start with less of the horseradish and give it a quick taste test then add more.

Once you have your awesome sauce (sorry, I couldn’t resist) mixed up, it is ready to serve or cover it and chill in the fridge until you need it.

Classic Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer

Classic Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe in a serving glass with jumbo prawns

Several weeks ago, I prepared the cocktail sauce to share with y’all and took photos. 

The classic serving style of a shrimp cocktail appetizer on a glass was how I set the recipe up for the photo shoot. 

There was just one teeny tiny problem. The shrimp cocktail still looks yummy and all but I just wasn’t thrilled with those photos. Perhaps I’m too picky sometimes.

I usually have a vision of how I want my recipes to look, sometimes I nail it and sometimes not.

Anyways, I decided to hold off on posting the cocktail sauce recipe so I could do a retake on the photos. 

Homemade Shrimp Sauce

seafood appetizer with homemade shrimp sauce

So a few weeks later, hubs asked if I wanted to swing by the resale store. I said sure because we hadn’t been in a while. I’ve discovered some great treasures in thrift stores.

When we walked in, I headed straight for their special area where they kept more vintage and a little bit pricier (but still cheap) stuff and there it was…the vintage shrimp cocktail serving platter.

I was thrilled! I was so excited about my find that we headed straight to the grocery store so I could grab a jar of chili sauce and some shrimp so I could do a re-shoot on the photos.

What y’all think about the new pics?

Old Fashioned Cocktail Sauce with Shrimp

Vintage silver tray with shrimp on a bed of ice with red sauce and lemons

How do you make cocktail sauce from scratch?

Below you’ll find the printable recipe card with extract measurements. Further down I’m sharing a couple more tasty shrimp recipes that you can find here on the blog.

Classic Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings

Classic Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe

Classic Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe - served on a bed of crushed ice and lemon slices - easy appetizer

Delicious and spicy homemade classic shrimp cocktail sauce recipe to enjoy with fish, shrimp, prawns and other seafood.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


Cocktail Sauce

  • 1 ½ c Chili Sauce (12 oz. bottle, like Heinz)
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Splash of Worcestershire Sauce (about ⅛ teaspoon)
  • ½ tsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 tsp. Prepared Extra Hot Horseradish Sauce (See Notes)

For Serving

  • 8 Jumbo Cooked Shrimp (16/20 size or above)


  1. In a small mixing bowl; combine the chili sauce, sea salt, Worcestershire, lemon juice and horseradish together with a whisk.
  2. Transfer the cocktail sauce to a serving bowl and serve with cooked shrimp.


We love our cocktail sauce on the spicy side. If you don't then start with a teaspoon of the horseradish, then taste test and add another teaspoon until you get it to suit your tastes. 3 teaspoons is our perfect cocktail sauce.

You could also divide the sauce and make one more mild and the other spicier for a variety.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 361mgSodium: 680mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 14gProtein: 41g

What is the best cocktail sauce? The best sauces are always the ones that you make yourself and you know exactly what is in there.

How long will cocktail sauce last in the refrigerator? If the sauce is divided, the unused portion may be refrigerated up to a month. Discard any sauce that has had seafood dipped in it.

Classic Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe - Pinterest graphic

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Thank you for stopping by! I’m so happy that you did. If you enjoy a delicious shrimp cocktail then you’ll love this recipe for making your own at home.

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Saturday 20th of February 2021

My boys basically won't eat shrimp without cocktail sauce. I really should start making my own. Thanks for the recipe!

Julia Jordan

Sunday 21st of February 2021

I found that I always had to "doctor up" the store bought so just started making my own so it is just like we enjoy it.

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